Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Gods and Heroes, MMO No No's and CoH and MMO addiction

There is a new Gods and Heroes interview here. This game is starting to intrigue really is. I'm not really sold on the whole squad based combat thing though. With some exceptions, most implementations of squad based games have been less then stellar. Your minions are usually quite stupid and are more a hindrance than anything else. If they flop on the implementation, lets hope you can turn the minions off and that the difficulty scales accordingly. What really interests me about this game is the lore potential. I love Rome mythology and I think an MMO in that world will be a lot of fun. The combat animation looks really good, but I hope its not all flash and no substance. put up and interesting editorial here. I've got soo much to to say about this article, I don't know where to begin really. The article goes over some current pet peeves of the MMO industry. Although his grievances make sense on the surface, they do lack some depth of thought. His first gripe is with MMO developers making drastic changes to the game. So, out of recorded MMO history, only one game has really done a complete overhaul of its game mechanics, much to the chagrin of the community in question. That game would be Star Wars: Galaxies. Other MMOs, to my understanding, have changed themselves gradually over time with patches and/or added content. Dude...having one game burn us with a sweeping change does not make it a peeve with the whole industry. We have not seen a trend of MMOs doing this, and until we do, lets chalk it up as a blip.

Second peeve was the over promises of MMO companies. This is true, they do over promise, however; we all know the bigger peeve you should have is "why do I keep believing them?".

"Talk to your testers" is next. Although I'm not privy to every software verification process that each organization has, I have worked in this field for over 10 years. Project Management groups have a tough job. At the end of the day, they have to make a risk call on quality given the input they get from the verification (or testing) groups. They'll usually make this call at whatever quality milestones that they have internally. Trust me, in more cases then not, verification is very much part of the "ship/no-ship" discussion. What you see in the MMO software industry is common place in every company in North America. I would be interested to see if their quality slips are larger than other industries, but until I see those numbers, I'll assume its on par with ever other company that delivers software.

The last is peeve has to do with somewhat with the issue of power-leveling in MMOs. There is only one game that takes away the power leveling that we find in the majority of MMOs, and that is Eve Online. You won't find any WoW power levelers taking up a game like would drive them nuts. If you want 'fix" the power leveling, then one solution would be to tie in the leveling system to a skill-based real-time system. Think of it this way: What would happen if EQ2, Eve online and Ryzom had a baby (leave the sick threesome jokes at the door...please)?

Some good stuff happening over at COH. Issue 8 is live. Although there is nothing in there that would make me come back to COH, it's good to see that they're continually evolving the game.

Oh for the love of Pete. When will they stop? This is such a load of crap! MMOs are not addictive...period. They surveyed 7000 online gamers and found that 12 percent show signs of addiction. Sorry, but I'm calling bullshit. Let me ask them this... out of that 12 percent, how many already have an addictive personality type? It kinda reminds me of one survey they (not the same people) did a while back concluding that people who play violent video games tend to be more violent. What they didn't tell you was that the people that they surveyed where ALREADY prone to violent behavior to begin with. I'll scratch around for that survey and related columns to it...just don't have it laying around right now. What will really irk me later on is the people who will use this to get out the "ban stick". You know...the "professionals" who think that the rest of us need to be protected because a small minority of gamers out there don't know when to flip the off switch.

D out.

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